US, UK, Canada sanction dozens on human rights anniversary

December 09, 2023

LONDON: Dozens of alleged human rights abusers around the world face new sanctions on Friday under a coordinated action by the United States, Britain and Canada to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The long list of targets ranges from human traffickers in Southeast Asia involved with “scam farm” operations, Taliban officials responsible for rights abuses in Afghanistan and leaders of gangs ravaging Haiti´s population.

UN employees unfold a UN flag at the start of the third General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948 at the close of which was adopted on December 10 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.— AFP File

London said it was hitting 46 individuals and entities with asset freezes and travel bans ahead of the December 10 landmark, recognized annually as International Human Rights Day. The United States for its part targeted 37 people in 13 countries, while Canada imposed sanctions on seven people as part of the joint action. “We will not tolerate criminals and repressive regimes trampling on the fundamental rights and freedoms of ordinary people around the world,” said UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

“I am clear that 75 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UK and our allies will continue to relentlessly pursue those who would deny people their freedom.” The landmark 30-article document, which outlines fundamental rights and freedoms for all of humanity, was adopted on December 10, 1948 during the early days of the United Nations.

The UK´s list of targets include 17 members of the Belarusian judiciary, including prosecutors in charge of politically motivated cases against activists, journalists and rights defenders.